I’ve spent a LOT of time booking hotels in my life–too much time–because I agonize over finding just the right hotel with just the right amenities for just the right price. And I want all those things for a screamin’ deal (which I sometimes- but not usually-get). When all I need from a hotel is a clean room with a comfortable bed, a shower, and breakfast, I don’t want to pay for a bunch of amenities I won’t use. On most trips that I go on, I don’t spend very much time at the hotel. If, however, a resort were my destination and I was going to spend a lot of time there, I would be willing to pay more for amenities. But that’s a topic for a different day.
Recently, (May 2011) my husband and I took our 4 kids on a week-long trip to Oregon. When our kids were little, we could get by with one room with two queen beds. We could put 3 little kids in one bed, and the youngest one on the floor or in a port-a-crib. But now we have 3 “adult kids” and only one real “kid”, and that just doesn’t fly. So, I had to choose between trying to book 2 regular rooms or 1 suite that could comfortably sleep 6. I reasoned that I could probably find 2 decent rooms for $50 or less in Portland, but they might be “iffy”. I wanted to be sure that our accommodations on this trip would be pleasing to all. I opted for the suite so we could all be together, which turned out to be very nice, and everyone was happy. We stayed at 3 different suite hotels, and all of them were great. First, we stayed at Embassy Suites, for about $125 per night, but the fabulous breakfast makes it worth paying a little more. They offer made-to-order omelettes, pancakes or french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, muffins, pastries, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, and all kinds of drinks. Certainly, a full breakfast for my family of 6 was worth at least $60, probably more.
We also stayed at Homewood Suites, for about $110 per night. The rooms were just as comfortable, but included a kitchenette and full-size refrigerator. The breakfast was just as good, although without the made-to-order omelettes. Homewood Suites also offers a “light” dinner M-Th. That makes it a real value. If you eat a late breakfast and an early dinner at the hotel, you could get by without spending money on food. We never were there for dinner, though, so I can’t say what the food was like.
We stayed one night at a brand new Springhill Suites in Irvine, CA on our way home, for $117. It had the best room of all the places we stayed, and a comparable breakfast. I love the waffles! They make up for no omelettes. The room had 2 queens and a sofa sleeper (as all the suites we stayed at), but it had a separate bathroom with a sink and a toilet, as well as a bathroom with a shower and a sink. That was very helpful for our large family. All in all, I felt that an average of $117 per night for our family of 6 was not a bad price to pay, especially since that price included some very nice rooms and all-you-can-eat breakfast!